Tonight the WWE Network presented Extreme Rules. My predictions from a few days ago can be read here.
The first match was Neville vs. Bad News Barrett. Barrett’s scheduled opponent, Daniel Bryan was not medically cleared to perform, so the white-hot newcomer Neville filled in. As expected, Neville performed a number of gravity-defying acrobatic moves. What was not expected was that the WWE’s newest “rookie” defeated Bad News Barrett–kicking out multiple times from Barrett’s trademark offence and landing his own insane corkscrew-flip-splash from the top rope. (I’m not sure what that move is called, but it is amazing!)
Winner: Neville (predicted winner: Daniel Bryan)
Next came Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus in a “Kiss My Arse” match. Ziggler snuck out a win, but Sheamus hit him with a low blow and a brogue kick after the match. It looks like this rivalry will continue for at least another match or two. Big surprise: no one kissed anyone’s arse.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (predicted winner: “too close to call (but I hope it’s Ziggler)”)
The third match was Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper in a Chicago Street Fight match. The match began, but then the two competitors left in a truck. They drove back in after the tag team match (see below) and finished the match in the ring surrounded by and using dozens of chairs.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (predicted winner: Dean Ambrose)
The match for the tag team championships, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The New Day, really didn’t do much other than highlight that Cesaro is way better than this. I wasn’t too interested, frankly, in either team. However, the match did have a very surprising ending, with New Day winning the championships. I still don’t care about them at all. Hopefully, though, Kidd & Cesaro dropped the belts so that they could break up and Cesaro will get that big push that he has deserved since his last nonsensical tag team (“The Real Americans”) broke up, at Wrestlemania XXX.
Winner (and new champions): The New Day (predicted winner: “Meh”)
The United States championship match with John Cena vs. Rusev (Russian chain match) went about as expected. Both competitors made it halfway around the ring several times before their opponent halted their progress. The finish was set up very well, with both competitors hitting three posts in opposite directions, leaving only the fourth. Rusev rushed toward the last post but was stopped by Cena, who then tagged it himself for the win. I am not really sure why Cena’s last move didn’t reset the turnbuckles, as offensive maneuvers had been doing throughout the rest of the match. I guess because Cena.
Winner: John Cena (predicted winner: John Cena)
Nikki Bella retained her Divas championship vs. Naomi after interference from her sister Brie Bella. Whatever. When’s Paige coming back? Or can we bring Lita out of retirement?
Winner: Nikki Bella (predicted winner: “Smoke break”)
The next-to-last match, Roman Reigns vs. Big Show in a “Last Man Standing” match, was not nearly as slow and plodding as some fans feared. The end was very good, with Reigns first spearing Show through the padded barricade into the timekeeper’s area. After both had risen to their feet, Reigns nailed a spear from on top of the regular announce table through the Spanish announce table. He then flipped the regular announce table over on top of Big Show, even standing on it to ensure that Show wouldn’t get back to his feet.
Winner: Roman Reigns (predicted winner: Roman Reigns)
An unannounced match between Ryback and Bo Dallas passed a few minutes, probably so someone could get the cage ready. Very little offense and it was over quickly.
Winner: Ryback (no prediction)
The main event Steel Cage Match for the WWE World Championship, with Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins, went back and forth between both competitors through most of the match. Several times Rollins tried to escape by either climbing the cage or going through the door but was stopped by Orton. Finally, the expected interference from the Authority occurred. Kane actually prevented J&J Security from entering the ring, but when he also refused to open the door for Orton, Rollins inadvertently drop-kicked the door into Kane, knocking him back. J&J had entered the ring, but Kane went into the cage and double-choke-slammed both of them. Then he choke-slammed Orton, followed by a choke slam to Rollins. Kane flipped Rollins on top of Orton, but Orton kicked out. Orton hit Kane with an RKO, followed by Rollins hitting Orton with an RKO. Rollins then escaped through the cage door to retain his title.
Winner: Seth Rollins (predicted winner: Seth Rollins)
Overall: The show was decent. There were a few surprising outcomes, like the Neville and New Day victories. I would expect about half of the rivalries to continue (Ziggler vs. Sheamus, Cena vs. Rusev, Orton vs. Rollins)–they simply didn’t have clean, conclusive ends to them here. The other half of the matches didn’t really have solid storylines to begin with, so who knows what might happen? The endings of most of the matches were pretty exciting, with several good spots on the part of both competitors.
If I had to rate it, I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10. Definitely not bad, but I just wasn’t really invested in almost 1/2 of the matches.